Functional Capacity Evaluation

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What is a functional capacity evaluation?

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is an evidence-based, comprehensive physical and functional assessment that uses measurable, objective testing methods to obtain an accurate representation of your ability to perform home and/or work-related tasks. Depending on various factors including the nature and length of your injury, your occupation and insurance provider, the assessment may be done in one day or over two half days.

Our certified FCE evaluator was accepted as an expert witness in the Supreme Court of British Columbia for work capacity, disability, and cost of care evaluations. They bring over 26 years of FCE experience, over which they have successfully completed more than 2,000 FCEs.

What is the purpose of a functional capacity evaluation?

An FCE is an important step in the rehabilitation process when returning to work from an injury. Our certified FCE evaluator will determine whether the functional abilities you demonstrate during the evaluation match the physical demands of your job. This data will help our FCE evaluator make clinical recommendations to your employer and/or benefits provider about return-to-work planning which includes potential job modifications, restrictions and accommodations, and recommendations for any additional rehabilitation recommended before or during a return to work. A detailed report will be provided which summarizes all data from the assessment, as well as clinical interpretations and recommendations.

What to Expect during an FCE

There are three primary components to a functional capacity evaluation:

  1. A thorough interview including a medical document review
  2. Standardized questionnaires to gain a measure of psychosocial behaviour
  3. The functional assessment which includes a musculoskeletal exam to ensure it is safe to proceed with the functional testing.

You will be provided with a heart rate monitor to wear during the functional testing for safety reasons as well as measuring consistency of effort.

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There are four primary areas that the functional testing will focus on:

1. Endurance
  • Walking
  • Stair climbing
  • Ladder ascension/descension
2. Strength
  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
3. Posture
  • Forward reaching
  • Overhead reaching
  • Low level reaching
  • Trunk flexion
4. Fine Motor Skills
  • Manual dexterity tasks
  • Pinching and gripping

If your FCE evaluator was provided with specific job demands that the referral source would like to measure, those tasks will also be incorporated into the assessment.

Your FCE evaluator will carefully monitor your performance throughout the entire assessment, ensuring that you remain safe and comfortable throughout the process, and to assess whether your efforts are consistent throughout the examination.

For Referrers

To make a referral for a functional capacity evaluation, contact us at the Surrey Neuroplasticity Clinic online, by phone at 604.424.8280 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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